Parent Update Announcements


posted Oct 20, 2017, 11:05 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon, everyone.  Lots of information to share this week so let’s get down to business with a “list” update this week:

  • Our second session of high school engineering is beginning soon.  Students are transitioning from flight (pressure, wings, airplanes, etc) to 3D printing and electrical circuits.  Students have a lot of choice in what they are able to do.  I have attached the permission slip for this exploratory program.

  • Short notice but the “Vision Van” will be in both Franklin and Laconia this coming Monday.  Please see the attachment for more information.

  • Gunstock Ski Club is having its annual Ski & Snowboard sale from November 4th to the 9th.  You can also sell your used equipment at this event (drop off is November 3).  This all takes place at the Main Lodge where there is more than $1 million of new and used inventory.

  • The School Board Budget Work Sessions take place at the SAU at 5:30 on the following dates:

    • October 23 (High School, Special Education, Building & Grounds budgets)

    • October 24 (Elementary School, Middle School, Technology budgets)

    • October 30 (Food Service, District Wide budgets and Board Deliberation/Determination)

  • Check out the attachment for Parks & Rec for great upcoming activities!

  • Please stay tuned for more information on our Student Council’s “Heifer International Fundraiser.

  • Next Friday is our first 7th/8th Grade Dance of the year.  Dance runs from 7:00-8:30 with our own Paul Warnick as DJ.  They’ll be yummy snacks (but no pizza) and water on sale for students to purchase.  Kudos to our Volunteer Steering Committee for organizing the goodies!

Take care and enjoy the weekend.


Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, November 19, 2017:
P&R News Oct. I '17.pdf
Vision Van_102317.pdf
8th Grade Introductory TE Program.pdf


posted Oct 16, 2017, 4:33 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good evening.  Yesterday’s pumpkin carving was a huge success.  In about an hour, we carved nearly 350 pumpkins that you can see at this weekend’s PumpkinFest in Laconia.  This is a great community and team building event that could not have happened without the direction of our own Andrea Damato and the rest of her Unified Arts Team.  Others that deserve many thanks to are the Bourgeois Family, MB Tractor & Equipment, John Lyman & Sons, Winnipesaukee Woods Farm, the Gilford Volunteer Steering Committee, our own Buildings &  Grounds crew and, of course, our wonderful students and staff.

Upcoming Volunteer Fingerprinting Clinics:

Tuesday, October 24 ~ 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 3 ~ 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Fingerprint clinics are held at the SAU office located at 2 Belknap Mountain Road.

Please call the office at 527-9215 to schedule an appointment. A photo ID is required for identification.  

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations:

Wednesday, October 18 ~ every half hour starting at 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

SAU Office - 2 Belknap Mountain Road

Tuesday, December 12 ~ 6:30 p.m. - Elementary School Library

No sign-up necessary for orientation sessions.

Next Wednesday (10/18) is Early Release.  Students will be dismissed at 12:20, as usual.  We ask that all students go home at that and return later for sports and other activities.  We are unable to supervise students as our staff is working on professional development.

This week’s tip from the Middle Years*   Living in a Diverse World:  In school, college, or on the job our child will meet and work with people of various backgrounds and abilities.  Share these strategies for embracing diversity.

  • Point out that cultural differences make life more interesting.  A classmate from another heritage might invite her to participate in a tradition with her family or introduce her to foods that taste and smell differently.

  • Encourage your middle grader to connect with classmates who speak other languages.  

  • Let your tween know you expect her to show respect toward everyone.  She could sit down to chat with a student in a wheelchair (rather than towering over the person).  Also, she should smile and say hello when walking by people with disabilities-the same whay she would with anyone else-rather than ignoring them.

Thank you and enjoy the weekend.


*Resources for Educators, October 2017


posted Oct 5, 2017, 10:55 AM by Suzanne Bowen   [ updated Oct 5, 2017, 11:09 AM ]

Good afternoon.  I hope that this email finds you and your families well.

As I did a couple of weeks ago, I’d like to share some more of the wonderful learning opportunities our teachers are providing for our students so far this year.  It is also important to note that our Special Education Case Managers and Paraprofessionals are working side-by-side with teachers in helping ALL students in the classroom.  It is definitely a team effort here at GMS!

  • Grade 5

    • In Ms. Goyette’s Language Arts classes, students have been writing “personal narrative.”  Some of the narratives that students shared with me included broken collar bones, paintballing, and a visit to Santa’s Village (this student loved the “Chimney Drop” ride while I told him petting the reindeer was more my speed).  He laughed politely...

  • Grade 6

    • While teaching students how to multiply decimals via Eureka Math, Mrs. Fox taught them the life-long skill on how to multiply decimals via estimating in their heads and then telling them to ask themselves, “Does that answer make sense?  Should 9 candy bars cost $36?”  I actually interrupted the class to tell them how important that skill will be to them when they start paying for their own meals at a restaurant and have to tip the server.

  • Grade 7

    • Our new science teacher, Mr. Schiff, was giving a lesson on the importance of reading and following the directions; especially when it comes to conducting science labs.  He gave them a “quiz” where the first instruction was, “Read all of the questions before you answer any of them.”  The following questions had students doing all kinds of menial tasks.  The last question/instruction asked them NOT to answer any of the questions but simply to write and circle their names at the top.  Needless to say, there were not many “clean” sheets.  A good lesson.

  • Grade 8

    • In French class with Mr. McNeil, students were planning a trip to a French-speaking country of their choice (airfare, hotel, car rental, sights, etc.).  Students were amazed to learn the price difference in flights depending on where you are traveling and when.  One student found a $438 round-trip flight to Luxembourg for early November.  I was impressed that she knew that was a very good deal.

  • Unified Arts

    • In Mr. Warnick’s Rock Band class, our own Mr. Walsh became their session drummer and accompanied students on a couple of songs.  If you have seen the movie, “School of Rock,” then you’ll know what exactly goes on in this class.  It is very impressive how Mr. Warnick (aka Jack Black) teaches the kids how to play either the guitar, drums, keyboard, vocals, etc and they kids come together and hammer out classics from Bon Jovi, White Stripes, and even 80’s one-hit wonder, Madness.

Possible Paving Delay:  Tomorrow morning the DPW will be doing work on Alvah Wilson Road.  You will still be able to get to the middle school by going on Alvah Wilson (via Rt 11A) but you would be best served by leaving the school by going up to Belknap Mtn Road and getting back on 11A from there, according to the Gilford DPW.  Afternoon pick-up should not be an issue.

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday = Columbus Day (No School)

  • Tuesday = Volunteer Orientation at the Gilford Public Library (every ½ hour from 9:15-1:45); PTA Meeting at GES (6:30)

  • Thursday = Volunteer Fingerprinting Clinic at the SAU (8:00-10:00).

  • Saturday, Oct 14 = Super Georgie’s Silent Auction & Bake Sale at the Gilford Youth Center (9:00-Noon) in honor of the Gard Family and to help support Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth.  There will also be raffles, candy, face painting and mask making!

Take care,



posted Oct 2, 2017, 4:20 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  Spent a little time watching our boys play soccer and our girls playing field hockey; couldn’t think of a better way to spend such a nice day!

The PTA’s free movie night will start at 7:00 or so; it is getting darker earlier so they decided to begin earlier.  So if you want a good spot on the Village Field, better get there at 6:30!

Thanks to the Bourgeois Family, GMS will once again help make Laconia’s PumpkinFest an awesome event!  They have generously donated 350 pumpkins so each of our students will have one to carve to put on display.

In light of recent events, I have attached a document regarding “emergency guidelines” that you should be made aware.  Please go over these (with your child, too) so that in the case of emergency, you know what is expected to occur.  Parts of this, I have shared in a previous update.

From the “Middle Years.”  Fun Historical Facts*  Want to spark your middle grader’s interest in history?  She could look in library books or online to find unusual stories about people she studies.  Example:  Before the Civil War, Harriet Tubman once escaped capture by pretending to chase a flock of chickens.

Next Week’s Events:

  • Monday = Gilford/Gilmanton School Board Meeting at GHS (6:00)

  • Tuesday = Gilford PTA Meeting at GES (6:30)

  • Wednesday = Early Release (12:20)

Thank you and have a nice weekend.


Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, October 29, 2017:


posted Sep 25, 2017, 4:51 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  This is not only a busy time of year for our staff and students but also for groups such as the PTA and Gilford Together.  I have four attachments regarding a PTA Auction, PTA major fundraising event, PTA Free Movie Night, and a presentation on school anxiety sponsored by both the PTA and Gilford Together.  And with the help of our rejuvenated Volunteer Steering Committee (many of whom are on PTA), we hope to take part in Laconia’s PumpkinFest again this year.  But we need your help in getting pumpkins.  If you are able to help, please click here to sign up to donate pumpkins for us.  This is a great team/community building event for our students to take part.  

Here are the upcoming dates for volunteer fingerprinting as well as volunteer orientations.  All volunteers, chaperones, etc. must attend orientation before they are considered as an approved volunteer/chaperone.

  • Fingerprinting Clinics (at the SAU)

    • Wednesday, September 27 (1:00-3:00)

    • Thursday, October 12 (8:00-10:00)

  • Volunteer Orientations (at GHS)

    • Tuesday, September 26 (5:30)

    • Tuesday, October 3 (6:00)

We hope to continue the 8th Grade Introductory Technology/Engineering Program at the high school.  Please remind your child to return their permission slip.  The purpose of this program is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in engineering activities during their study hall block.

The nurse is still missing health forms for students.  This is the blue sheet of paper that went home the first week of school.  It is very important that this form is filled out and returned as soon as possible.  If you did not receive one or lost the original, more can be found in our main office.

What’s going on in your child’s classroom?  Well, here is a snapshot of some cool stuff from our talented teachers from each grade level, including our Unified Arts:

  • Grade 5

    • In Mr. Donovan’s class, students are learning about observing and measuring weather (I always wanted to be a meteorologist so I really enjoyed sitting in on this particular class).  Students were very knowledgeable in regards to the different tools that are used.

  • Grade 6

    • In Mrs. Cahoon’s class, students are learning how to be cartographers.  She came up with a “smart person’s” version of Battleship to teach the students about longitude and latitude.  Students even remembered what “cardinal direction” was from what they learned in Mrs. Watterson’s class last year!

  • Grade 7

    • In Ms. Scudder’s class, students were sharing their personal interpretations of a poem that they had just read.  Not only was their insight impressive but how well they respected each other’s difference of opinion.  This is what we call creating a safe learning environment.

  • Grade 8

    • It was perfect timing in Mr. Meyer’s class as when I was there students were presenting a case study on corporal punishment in schools.  As you could probably guess, this topic generated great discussion amongst the students.

  • Unified Arts

    • In Mrs. Sanborn’s Music class, students were listening to classical music, specifically different instruments that were being played.  Today’s focus was on the cello.  It was hard for me to leave the room with that beautiful music playing.

From time to time I will share more on what our wonderful staff is doing day-in-day out here at the middle school.  I could write a book on the interesting learning that goes on in this building each day.  

Thank you and enjoy the weekend.


Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, October 22, 2017:
80's fundraiser.jpg
2017 movie night.JPG
Lynn Lyons Flyer.jpg


posted Sep 18, 2017, 4:13 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good evening.  I just received an email with the subject line, “soccer behavior.”  Sadly, my gut reaction (based on years of experience) was “uh-oh, what happened?”  I was pleasantly surprised.  No, I was actually thrilled with the email.  This mother from Alton was commenting to me at how polite and respectful both our players and coaches were this afternoon.  Her son mentioned how nice it was.  Shame on me for expecting the negative; I should better because I know how well our athletes and coaches display good sportsmanship.  Kudos to coaches Davis and Bohn, and especially our athletes, for making me and GMS proud tonight.

For 8th Grade parents, I have attached a document regarding a wonderful opportunity for our 8th grade students as our technology teacher, Mrs. Damato, is working with the high school’s technology teacher, Mr. Caron, is exposing them to  the world of STEM.

As you are probably aware, each student has been assigned a Chromebook to them for the school year.  Although they are not allowed to take them home, they are responsible for their care here at school.  Unfortunately, some have been damaged thus we have had to send some bills home.  Please remind your child to be careful and take good care of them.

This week’s tip from the “Middle Years.”  Responsibility?  It’s All Mine!  Do your work as teachers might not always remind middle graders when homework is due or to hand it in.  Your tween should write due dates (in an agenda, planner, phone, calendar, etc) and put completed projects by the front door.  That way, they will be more likely to complete assignments and take them to school.  Tweens take on more responsibility in middle school.

Upcoming Events:

Monday = Volunteer Fingerprinting at the SAU Office (9:00-11:00)

Wednesday = Early Release (12:20)

Thursday = Harlem Wizards at Laconia High School to benefit the Boys and Girls Club (7:00)

Friday = Gilford Youth Center’s 6th Annual “Summer’s End Celebration” to help fund future programming at the GYC, including scholarships for their after-school program, school vacation camps, and pre-school and middle school summer camps (6:00-10:00/$15.00 pp)  RSVP at GYC or emailing Scott Hodsdon.

September 26 = Lynn Lyons presentation on how to manage worry in the family and at school.  This free event is sponsored by the PTA and Gilford Together (6:00-8:00 @ GHS)

September 29 = Free movie night (“The LEGO Batman Movie”) at the Village Field sponsored by the PTA (7:30)

October 14 = 80’s Throwback Party at Meadowbrook; this is the PTA’s major fundraising event to help out our schools (5:30-10:30).  Call or text (909) 855-2726

Thank you and enjoy the weekend.  And remember, tomorrow is the high school’s Homecoming; come and cheer on the teams!


Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, October 15, 2017:
8th Grade Introductory TE Program.pdf


posted Sep 8, 2017, 12:05 PM by Suzanne Bowen

Good Friday afternoon!  I would like to begin with a huge kudos to the Currier family for trucking down much needed supplies to the Gulf Coast.  And many thanks to you folks for bringing in so much stuff!  We collected quite a bit in a very short time period.

Our PTA is very busy this time of year.  On the 26th of this month (6:00-8:00 in the GHS auditorium), they (along with Gilford Together) are hosting a presentation Lynn Lyons on anxiety in children (and families) in relation to school.  The title of her presentation is “Stopping the Worrying Cycle: How to Manage Worry in the Family and at School”  This is free and open to anyone.  I hope that you can join us.  I have also attached two flyers from the PTA:  One on the free movie night at the Village Field on 29th of this month and the other regarding their major fundraising event of the year, “80’s Throwback Party” at Meadowbrook on October 4.  Please support the PTA in anyway that you can as they have been extremely generous to the school district (nearly $1000 on GMS alone last year!)

I have also attached to this email two files regarding the Gilford Got Lunch program.  One is the background on the program and the other is the registration for the program. Regarding dismissing your child from an athletic contest: If you want to take your athlete home from an away event, you must sign them out at the end of the game; the coach will have a sign-out sheet. If you want your child to go home with another parent, you must submit a note to the coach.

Update regarding school pictures:  When the pictures/proofs come back to school, they will have the code necessary to order prints.  At that point you can make the decision whether or not order pictures or wait until picture retakes.

Our first Volunteer Steering Committee will take place here at 8:30 on September 22.  If you still need your fingerprints completed, please call the SAU for an appointment.

The 8th Grade Team Building Field Trip will take place at Camp Lincoln on Thursday, September 21.  

This week’s tip from the “Middle Years” is about getting in gear for the new year*:  “Expecting my best.  Encourage your child to decide what he expects from himself.  Where does he want to improve?  He might focus on paying attention to detail if he lost points last year by not filling out science lab reports thoroughly.  Or maybe he’ll create a plan for spreading out long-term projects so he’s not scrambling at the last minute.  He’ll gain satisfaction from a job well done when he follows through.  

Events next week:

Monday:  Homework Group begins thru Thursday (2:30-4:00); A/B Volleyball (4:00/5:00); Girls Soccer (4:00); Boys A Soccer (5:00)

Tuesday:  Policy Meeting at GHS (07:30); Cross Country Meet (4:00)

Wednesday:  GMS Open House (4:30-6:00)

Thursday: Boys A Soccer at Franklin (3:30); A Volleyball at Franklin (3:30); Field Hockey at Franklin (3:30)

Friday:  Boys A/B Soccer at Alton (3:30/4:30); A/B Volleyball at Alton (3:30/4:30); Sports Pictures (after school)

Thank you and hope you have a nice weekend.


*Resources for Educators, September 2017

Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, October 08, 2017:
2017-2018 GGL school Program letter.pdf
2017-2018 GGL WEEKEND BAG school year application.pdf
80's fundraiser.jpg
2017 movie night.JPG


posted Sep 5, 2017, 4:13 AM by Suzanne Bowen


Good afternoon.  I am pretty sure your kids had a good week of school just by seeing them come and go in the morning/afternoon.  I am also pretty sure that they will sleep well this weekend.  Mr. Walsh and I were very pleased at how well the first few days went.  Reports from staff only strengthen our observations.  Thanks to you parents for getting them ready for the opening of another year.

We are looking revive our Volunteer Steering Committee here at GMS.  Although the opportunities are not as plentiful as they are across the street, our staff could benefit from time-to-time in having some of you join us for special events, activities, projects, etc.  If you are interested, please let me know.

Speaking of wonderful volunteers, our PTA is holding both a free movie night on September 29 at the Village Field and will be holding their major fundraiser on October 14 at Meadowbrook.  See the two attachments for more details.

If your son or daughter is interested in joining the Lego League/Robotics Club this year, the first meeting will take place next Wednesday from 2:20-4:30; they will meet again on September 8.  Bring a snack and a friend!  This time of the year is our competition season.  Good bye, Animal Allies and hello, Hydro Dynamics.  Check out this video if you’d like to know more about the challenge.

Homework Group will begin on Monday, September 11, 2:30-4:00, in our media center.  Staff will be on hand to assist your child in anyway.

As you know, it is now school district policy that volunteers need a background check/fingerprinting before working with our students.  There are three upcoming times next week for you to come in and complete the process at the SAU:  Wednesday (1:00-3:00); Thursday (4:00-6:00), and Friday (1:00-3:00).  Be sure to bring a photo ID.

In an effort to further ensure the safety of all students, we conduct various drills throughout the school year.  They include:  Lockdown (staff lock themselves in their rooms to prevent an intruder from doing harm); Stay Put (typically when there is a medical emergency as students simply remain in their rooms while paramedics attend to the injured); Secure Campus (to protect students and staff from a concern outside of the school building); Evacuation (students and staff exit the building when the environment becomes unsafe); Reverse Evacuation (necessary for student and staff return the building when outside because of a dangerous situation near the building).  Your child’s safety is my number one concern.

Thank you and enjoy the long weekend with your families.


Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, October 01, 2017:
2017 movie night.JPG
80's fundraiser.jpg

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posted Jun 9, 2017, 11:24 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good afternoon.  This is it!  Just one more week to go.  I know it is cliche to say but it truly is amazing how fast the school year flies by.


There is a mandatory full dress rehearsal for Tuesday’s Talent Show in the high school auditorium after school on Monday.  Students are free to leave after they perform.  The Talent Show will begin at 12:30 and run until about 2:15.


The last week of school is certainly a busy one:

  • Monday

    • Silver Hawk Award Ceremony (1:25) at GHS

  • Tuesday

    • Annual Talent Show (12:30) at GHS

  • Wednesday

    • 5th Grade Field Trip to the Flume

  • Thursday

    • 6th Grade Field Trip to Canobie Lake Park

  • Friday

    • 8th Grade Moving Up Day Ceremony (9:30) at GHS

    • Locker Clean-Out and Field Day w/Cookout at the Village Field

    • Dismissal is at 11:25



Finally, preliminary results from our SBAC tests earlier this Spring show that ALL grades in ALL tests (Math & ELA) showed growth over last year and ALL are above the state average.  Our students and staff worked hard on these assessments and it showed.  One proud principal here….



Thank you and have a great weekend!




posted Jun 5, 2017, 4:12 AM by Suzanne Bowen

Good evening.  Just ten more days of school!  These next two weeks, with the anticipation of summer coming, can test teachers’ (and parents’) souls.  Fortunately, I have a wonderful, experienced staff here and our students (your kids) are rock stars.


Our 25+ annual 7th Grade Gilford Beach Clean-Up was today and amazed us in two ways:  One, in how fast and hard the kids worked to get the beach cleaned for the upcoming summer and, two, how long they stayed in the cold water!  


I have attached three documents to this email.  Two of them regarding the Gilford Got Lunch program; both have to deal with how you can help out the organization, especially by volunteering.  And the third being the agenda for Monday’s School Board Meeting which takes place at the Gilmanton School this month.


The English Department Team Leader at the high school, Mrs. Bishop, will be talking with our 8th graders (and next year’s freshmen!) about the Summer Reading assignment.  This will take place in the high school library next Friday during their last class.


Tonight at 7:00 and tomorrow at 8:00, the GMS Theatre Crew will put on the production of “Into the Woods.”  This will take place in the high school auditorium.


The 8th graders will be on their annual year-end trip to Boston on Wednesday.  Also on Wednesday, we will host the MS POPS Night where our talented vocalists will show their stuff in our cafeteria; this begins at 6:30.


Thank you and have a nice weekend.



Attachments available for 30 days until Sunday, July 02, 2017:
Volunteer Agreement.pdf
Email Vol Form 2017.pdf

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